Creating more O.G.R.s

luxrosaJune 6, 2009

Which O.G.R.s would you cross-breed in your garden for beauty and health?


Have you ever considered rose hybridizing as a hobby?

I learned how to propagate just by using instructions over the internet, thanks to Mel Humes' excellent article, and I took the next step in creating more roses, by learning how to hybridize.

The instructions at

are on the first page and the article 'How to Hybridize Roses' by Jospeh F. Winchel, on the same website, make the process sound nearly as easy as propagating. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained", as the quote goes.

Where I last lived I made the mistake of pollinating roses that were close to a low fence, and someone picked severa; branching canes that held blooming roses, that also had the few crosses I had made, even though those blooms had plastic bags tied over them, but since then I moved and now have a very tall wooden fence, I decided to try, try again.,

My goals include

-creating a smaller bush of a Tea-Noisette cultivar.

Last weekend I pollinated 'Duchess de Brabant' with 'Nastarana', several times, with the goal of creating a smaller T-N of a white, or pink hue.

If I can get pollen from a 'Westside Road Cream Tea' when Nastarana flushes next, I'll cross those.

Now I'm looking for a healthy deeper hued orange-blend rose, probably a Pernetiana, and also a medium or darker pink Tea or Noisette, to cross with 'Crepescule'

There is also a rose hybridizers forum at

my heart was filled with gladness when I read there, that several folks are hybridizing with wild roses, such as R. clinophylla, R. virgiana, and other beauties. Oh Joy!


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I have attempted this... no success yet.
I love the habit and rebloom of Cramosi Superior and Mary Washington so much that I would love to see more colors, more fragrance types, and bigger blooms on roses that are really twiggy all of the way to the ground.
But CS doesn't set hips, and I am too lazy to go around pollinating other roses with CS pollen- actually, tried it once, they didn't take, and gave up.
I'm growing some Mary Washington open pollinated seedlings - I figure that all of the roses that could have pollinated it are good ones (I've thrown the bad roses out of my garden)- so now I'm just waiting to see..
BTW- got lots of open pollinated Nastaranas babys going, too.
If anything cool develops I'll definately post it here - but I'm not holding my breath!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 7:25PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

Some truly wonderful roses have "happened" in the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden.
Shows what can occur, when you put a few thousand extraordinary roses together in one place.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 10:34PM
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If I were younger, I think it would be fascinating to get into this for a hesitate to say career because usually people who have done this have independent means and do it for the love of it. Sometimes I like to let nature do the hybridizing which is what you do when you plant open-pollinated seeds, and you might get a happy surprise.

At my age and the way the cycle works, I could run an experiment but not make a lasting hobby of it. And what to choose? Roses, daylilies, orientals, lilacs, iris, violas (got a happy accident there once and was too naive to ask if I could save the seeds (and they all would not necessarily have grown true). A large light yellow crossed with either a true sky blue or possibly a johnny jump up, and the next season I marvelled at nature's handiwork when I had a large-bloomed light yellow viola with a true light sky blue margin.

Just today I was wondering what might happen if I could cross some of my (to me) beautiful, hardy once bloomers and try to achieve roses that repeat bloom. Surely that's what hybridizers have done in the past. Hmmmm, I don't have a clue where to start because only one sets hips that I've noticed. How do you hybridize those? I think you don't, not into genetic manipulation.

I'm going to let one iris go to seed and plant the seeds. I could get something really ugly out of it, a caramel with lavender falls and across the sidewalk are large common, bright yellows.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 12:07AM
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I'm very excited about my 300+ open pollinated seedlings in pots in my driveway.

I think I have a collection of some really good roses in my yard, so the pollen parent is likely one I would have deliberately chosen anyhow.

Some that are showing excellent promise include seedlings from

White Cap
Henri Martin
William Lobb
Belle Vichysoise
Tess of the d'Urbevilles


    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 6:39AM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

Even if you don't get around to breeding starting seeds is so much fun. I have a number of roses that I've either started from seeds or found sprouting in the garden.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 9:31AM
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I've tried a cross or too which produced seed, and I've also sowed open pollinated seed as well, but nothing ever sprouted. When I have a "back yard" again, I'll give it another try.

I'd probably do what Paul Barden is doing. (Check out his blog through the link below.) His last two posts describe a process outlined by Basye on how to produce a disease free rose with no thorns. Hopefully Paul can put a smelly OGR type flower on it.

But Paul, what do you have against short roses? I LOVE the sound of that third remontant seedling you describe as "runty." Not all of us have the space for 8x8 monsters. I'll take a shorty any day!

Here is a link that might be useful: Paul Barden's Blog

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 10:06AM
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Last time when I tried to collect the pollen, it was dry/ immature. . . therefore when is the right time to pick the pollen?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 10:18AM
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From Roy Shepard's "The ABC's of Rose Hybridizing":

"From the former cut a flower bud (with about a one inch stem) that is almost ready to open and with the aid of a pair of tweezers remove the sepals and petals. Put the remaining brush-like portion in a small container (jar lids are suitable) and place it in a warm room but not in direct sunlight. Within a short time the anthers will discharge their pollen and you have a ready made brush with which to apply it to the stigmas of the seed bearing parent."

If you use this method, you can actually see the pollen on the bottom of the container after the stamens have released it.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 11:22AM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

Great post. It's raining here so I'm spending a little more time online today. I did not see this post prior to asking a few hybridizing questions on another post.

Can one introduce an open pollinated rose (a rose where only the pod parent is known)?

Also, does one have to be careful about crossing certain roses? I'm referring to those austin roses with trademarks etc. How do you know which roses a person can use to make your cross without bringing the law on your shoulders?


    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 11:25AM
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plenty of roses have been introduced, in cases where both parents are unknown, due to open pollination, and/or not labeling a rosehip with the name of its' seed parent.

P.S. thanks everyone for posting.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 6:59PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

OP roses like 'Guadalupe Volunteer'

and 'Lupe's Buttons'


    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 12:14AM
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ffff(Calif. 9)

Yes, I am a hybridizing junkie, and OGRs play the main role.

I'm of the opinion that most floribundas and mini floras represent a wrong turn in rose evolution, and wonder what would have happened if, instead of crossing polyanthas and dwarf polys with HTs, they'd crossed them with some of the sturdier Portlands instead.

I'm currently playing with Rita Sammons, trying to cross it with Beauty Secret, with the intention of discarding the micros that often result from a dwarf x miniature crossing. Assuming I can come up with a 2' Rita Sammons, I will try moving it from diploidy to tetraploidy through crosses with Duchesse de Rohan. I want a very fragrant, disease-resistant rose which is fully double but won't ball, blooms all the time, will grow in a pot, and has no thorns. Kind of an improved (thorns, remontancy) Rose de Rescht. Easy to please, aren't I? :D

I expect to fail, but I'll have fun trying, and hopefully something useful will come out of it.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 4:52PM
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I know this is stupidly basic, but ffff brought it up apparently so I could ask it. What's the deal with diploidy and tetraploidy? I run into this with daylilies, and I know it has to do with fertility and who can mate with who. I suppose I could look it up, but inquiring minds want to know, and I'm feeling lazy after working all day.

To answer the original question - Which O.G.R.s would you cross-breed? - I think I would try Louis Philippe with every tea I have. I don't understand why LP doesn't have more offspring. It's a great rose in Florida, and his characteristics need to be spread around to more roses, i.e., color, fragrance, repeat and nematode resistance. Also, Fortuniana with teas. I understand it would take two generations to get remontancy (if such a cross worked), but for Florida gardens such a pairing could hold much promise, but I'm sure there's some good reason that I'm ignorant of that makes it impossible. I've been very impressed with Clotilde Soupert's health here, foliage, shape, fragrance and flower form, so I think I'd try pairing her with some teas.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 5:44PM
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My "new" old roses are primarily open pollinated. I started my first seedlings from my 2008 rose hips. Of those, I had one Scarlet Moss seedling bloom (which later succumbed to winter weather) and a James Mason seedling and a couple of Fru Dagmar Hastrup seedlings that survived (still waiting for them to bloom.)

Last year I gathered a bunch of hips courtesy of the bees and tried one hybridization--Fara Shimbo x Duchesse de Montebello. Since it was a sloppy pollination on my part, who knows what if those are actually the parents, but I did get a hip and have seedlings (although most are showing a lot of powdery mildew so far.) It's been a good year for seed sprouting; I've got over 100 babies so far, primarily from Tuscany Superb, Fara Shimbo, Veilchenblau, and Lyda Rose. Also a few from Duchesse de Montebello, James Mason, and Belle De Crecy. La Belle Sultane seeds are starting to sprout like mad. (Plus some moderns that I just happen to like.) My first seedlings from this batch started blooming this weekend--so far Heinrich Karsch and Lyda Rose are opening up. I was planning to try and do a little more hybridizing this year (just for fun) but it's been too rainy so far. Will have to see if the weather ever cooperates.

There's a great discussion of ploidy on the website--the comparison to shoes is very helpful, as well as kind of funny!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 6:04PM
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ffff(Calif. 9)

Sometimes too big of a deal is made of ploidy, but the general idea for rose people goes like this...

Although you can find roses of all sorts that have poor fertility, or are unwilling to cross with certain other categories of roses, one clear category which has fertility issues is triploids. And when you cross a diploid (most species roses, rugosa hybrids, many polyantha types, and many miniatures) with a tetraploid (most HTs, HPs, and many others), you will usually get a triploid.

Triploid fertility ranges from not too bad to nonexistent. If your luck is really terrible, you will have reached a hybridizing dead end, but hopefully triploidy's only a bump in the road. Crossing a triploid with a diploid will usually result in diploid offspring, and crossing a triploid with a tetraploid will usually produce tetraploid offspring, so with some luck you can usually get to whatever ploidy you want with one additional crossing.

There are some fine roses that are triploid, including a number which have major fertility problems, like Belinda's Dream, an otherwise wonderful rose. So don't take this as a huge slam on triploids, like I said, sometimes too big a deal is made of it. Certain growth characteristics seem to be tied to ploidy, and sometimes a triploid might be just what you want. But for me, intending to cross a (diploid) dwarf poly with a (tetraploid) Portland, it's a bridge to be crossed.

Note that this post contains countless extreme oversimplifications. If you want to try your hand at hybridization, you should research ploidy more.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 6:35PM
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ffff(Calif. 9)

"There's a great discussion of ploidy on the website--the comparison to shoes is very helpful, as well as kind of funny!"

Yes, I love the shoes analogy! Thanks for posting that, I was too lazy to track it down. :-P

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 6:39PM
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I'm not at the point at wanting to try my hand at breeding, but if I were, I think I too would be interested in the Portlands. They're the only repeat-flowering roses have the character of the European once-blooming roses: not only shrubby habit, but rough leaves and thicketing growth covered with glands. Perhaps some of the early Hybrid Perpetuals belong here too. It would be interesting to see repeat-flowering roses with strong Gallica/Damask/Centifolia character. I don't know if a (very patient) breeder could cross Portlands with Gallicas and then try second generation crosses to get the repeat-flowering gene. I greatly admire 'Comte de Chambord'.
Certainly there's a lot of room for experimenting with crosses with species roses. And, new Teas?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 1:58AM
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I want a very fragrant, disease-resistant rose which is fully double but won't ball, blooms all the time, will grow in a pot, and has no thorns. Kind of an improved (thorns, remontancy) Rose de Rescht. Easy to please, aren't I? :D

I want that too! LOL. I think I remember posting a description similar to this a long time ago--wanting a thornless Rose de Rescht that loved it hot and humid--but in pink.

The damask perpetuals/portlands are probably my favorite class. I love the IDEA of them. Of course, not being able to grow them well here might have something to do with it. We always want what we can't have. I am giving "Pickering Four Seasons" a try though, keeping my fingers crossed.

It's awesome that there are people who want to work with the portlands. By the way, wanting to cross them with gallicas is not such an unusual idea. If I remember my reading right, it was once thought portlands got their remontancy from Asian roses, but the DNA research showed--at least for the ones studied--that they are combinations of Autumn Damask and gallicas.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:04AM
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fogrose(zone 10/sunset 17)

A new family of Portlands would make me very very happy. Also shorter bushier Noisettes like the volunteer I found a few years ago in my garden that I suspect is a cross between Mrs. Woods Lavender Pink Noisette and Trier. What a great fragrance this rose has. I call it "Jo's Rose" in memory of my friend Jo Steen. I'm hoping Gregg from Vintage will want to put it into commerce.

Right now I'm waiting to see what happens with three more seedling volunteers. Don't know if I'd try hybridizing but I'm fascinated when Mother Nature waves her magic wand and a brand new rose makes it's first appearance on our planet.


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 9:20PM
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When I was an undergraduate student at Penn State (in the very late 70's) I thought I would become a plant breeder, but that hasn't been my life path.

I don't now really aspire to breed new roses, but I am well aware that Paul Barden (who releases his new roses via Rogue Valley Roses) has been releasing new Gallica (& other rose hybrid classes) roses:

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 10:19PM
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